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What We’re Reading: The Volunteering and Civic Life in America Fact Sheet

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

CNCS_Brand_newNCoC LogoThe Volunteering and Civic Life in America website, sponsored by a partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and ADP partner the National Conference on Citizenship (NCOC), has just released new research in the form of a volunteering and civic engagement fact sheet. The site hosts the most comprehensive annual collection of information on Volunteering and Civic Life in America.

A summary of the information reports the following:

Volunteering and civic engagement are the cornerstone of a strong nation. Citizens working together and talking to each other help solve problems and make their communities better places to live and work. In 2011, the number of volunteers reached its highest level in five years. 64.3 million Americans volunteered approximately 7.9 billion hours, valued at $171 billion. Two out of three citizens (65.1%, or 143.7 million citizens) served their communities by doing favors for and helping out their neighbors; more than half (56.7%) trusted all or most of the people in their neighborhood. The Volunteering and Civic Life in America data is the most comprehensive source of volunteering and civic engagement information assembled, thanks to a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Volunteering and Civic Life in America Fact Sheet covers the key findings and highlights from the most recent 2011 data.

Download the fact sheet here.

Also, given that we recently wrote about data visualization, it is worth nothing that this website hosts a fabulous data graphic (“infographic”). Its interactive map of the United States allows users to view state-by-state report data regarding how often residents of a state volunteer, eat dinner with their families, and discuss politics.

Being a fairly recent transplant to the East Coast, I am always interested to see how my native state is doing, both on its own and comparatively. The interactive map of the United States provided on the site offers a state-by-state highlight of report data.

For example, in Colorado—where our June 6-8, 2013 national meeting will also occur—in 2011:

  • 32.6% of residents volunteer, ranking them 13th among the 50 states and Washington, DC
  • 36.5 volunteer hours per resident
  • 69.1% do favors for their neighbors
  • 92.5% eat dinner with their family a few times a week or more
  • 56.7% discuss politics a few times a month or more
  • 1.29 million volunteers
  • 144.9 million hours of service
  • $3.4 billion of service contributed

Meanwhile, in D.C.:

  • 27.2% of residents volunteer, ranking them 26th among the 50 states and Washington, DC
  • 32.7 volunteer hours per resident
  • 61.5% do favors for their neighbors
  • 78.2% eat dinner with their family a few times a week or more
  • 68.9% discuss politics a few times a month or more
  • 138,170 volunteers
  • 16.6 million hours of service
  • $423.3 million of service contributed

Head to the site to download the fact sheet and check the state of your state’s civic health today.

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